Being Assertive

Being Assertive
Take-aways from Dr. Julie Hanks latest book:
The Assertiveness Guide for Women

Dr. Julie Hanks has created a gold mine of information about being assertive. But let me warn you, this is a WORK BOOK!! If you aren’t ready to put in the work to learning more about yourself, don’t buy this book. However, if you are ready to take the steps necessary to learning this trade of being assertive I would highly recommend it.

Let’s just do a quick re-assess of what being assertive means, shall we? My initial impression was not the definition that Dr. Julie Hanks used. “Assertiveness is generally defined as a way of communicating that is clear, confident, and self-assured. It enables you to express your thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants without infringing on the rights of others. Assertiveness skills help you articulate your unique sense of self while maintaining your connection with others and allowing them to have an experience that is different from yours. At its core, assertiveness is about the courage to express difference.”

Now THAT is a great definition of being assertive and from the moment I read it, I wanted it. I generally consider myself a pretty assertive person, but there is one area where I get hung up and that is my emotional response during conflict. In her book, Dr. Hanks gives 5 Skills of Assertiveness; Self-Reflection, Self-Awareness, Self-Soothing, Self-Expression, and Self-Expansion. My biggest insight came from the self-soothing portion as it provided tools to pretty much calm myself down during any conflict.

“Assertiveness is an expression of difference.” In this book I found it re-assuring that we need each other and our relationships. “Splendid isolation is for planets, not people” (Johnson 2013). This book shows you how to make the most out of your relationships by nurturing certain ones and possibly severing others.

My blogpost today is not to give you the full enchilada, but to entice you to go out and buy this book if you find that it might help you in your life. It made a difference in mind and I will share just a few of my key take-aways here:

I feel _____________ when you _______________ because I think ______________.

This sentence alone can change your life.

Phrases to have up my sleeve or in my back pocket when I need to say no:

“I’m not able to commit to that right now.”

“I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if something changes.”

“No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do…”

Phrases to help me ask for change:

“It would mean a lot to me if…”

“I would appreciate it if you would…”

I loved it when you did _______________.”

If you’re not yet sold on the book, start by listening to my interview with Dr. Julie Hanks on my positivity podcast for women, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, by clicking here. Listen as she takes me through a real life scenario that happened to me with my family and shows me how I could have handled it differently…talk about putting yourself out there for the world to hear! She is funny, brilliant, and right on the money.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below…I read every one!

Do Small Things with Great Love

Do Small Things with Great Love

Small Things = Big Change

This wooden plaque sits on my desk and was given to me by my middle daughter, Dayle. It is a constant reminder that to do big things, it takes a hundred small steps to get there. Because Lauri’s Lemonade Stand is a new venture for me and I took a leave of absence to get it started, I was really worried about bringing in income in a timely manner. Really worried. It wasn’t until I was confronted with a business coach about it that I realized I needed to remember my “why” in starting this journey to begin with. My goal is to be of service to women, period.

My plan is to do that by using three main hubs: Speaking, Writing, and Podcasting.

My podcast is meant to be a hub of beautiful, talented, knowledgeable women whom I interview to bring about change in you or to just hear a romantic love story, or even a tragic one so that we realize we are not alone in our journey. Some of them are just plain fun like learning how to geocache from Irene Thomas. Most are inspirational and motivating to the hilt.

My speaking is geared towards women in which I tell a bit about my story and then give actionable tips to put into practice right now to get up, get moving, and be your own best friend in finding your “Happy Middle”.

My writing is simply creative joy and pleasure for me. I love to write about what I’m thinking or review someone else’s thinking for that matter.

All this said, I was worried about money. After my little confrontation and remembering my “why” (to serve you!), I decided that I would make 2017 my year of service. I would simply go out and serve. I would find the best of the best to interview on my podcast, do 10 FREE speeches this year, and continue to write my blog and work on my first book.

The moment (I mean the very moment down to the second) I made that decision, a burden was lifted and I felt free from the pressures of making money this first year and just be a volunteer of service doing what I do best – connecting with other women to help them into the next chapter of their lives.

And this is where it gets interesting…about 2 1/2 weeks after making that decision I’ve all of a sudden been approached by three different companies on joint venture programs. What?? You mean all I had to do was let go? By taking that first step of service towards others, and deciding to make this my year of service, all of a sudden windows and doors are opening that I had no idea would happen.

Small adjustments, small changes make the difference. Learning a new perspective, taking baby steps towards your goal. Letting go and doing small things with Great Love make all the difference.

The Airport Play Date

The Airport Play Date

Let me start by saying that if you are planning your #playdate at the airport, there is not a lot of help on the internet about what to do while you are there.  In the end I took a bit from everyone and made up most of it on my own.  I made it more of a treasure hunt to be documented with selfies to cement the deal.  Here’s my treasure hunt list:
1)  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie.  I didn’t have time on my way in, but I found it and took a picture on my way back into town…yuck!

2)  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.  I didn’t end up with any exotic options, but I chose Portland, Oregon because the guy I was talking to, David, suggested it because the house from Goonies is there…I would totally go see that!

3)  Find the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  I chose beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers from Pasadena.  Are there people who would really buy beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers that say Pasadena on them??  Maybe I missed the memo.
4)  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.  I chose David from the departures board, and this lovely flight attendant which brings me to the 5th item that I couldn’t bring into fruition…read on.

5)  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  Remember those?  They would give them out to kids when they traveled.  Well, guess what?  They don’t have them anymore and haven’t had them for years according to this lovely flight attendant.  I asked her to think of something and she did!  She came back with a plastic cup, a napkin, a cookie, and pretzels and said it was the best she could do.  She gets an “A” for effort!!
6)  Find an airport sign that is laughable.  I found one!  In the Burbank airport there is a long stretch of red carpet that runs the length of the path of gates.  If you are paying attention you notice that it isn’t just for decoration, there is a purpose and a sign.  It tells you that the red carpet is supposed to remain clear of people…no loitering basically because it is meant to be used in an emergency only.  Really?  For what emergency?  A shooting where we all run for our lives?  A gas leak that again, has us running for our lives?  I guarantee that no one is going to be looking at that sign or the color of the carpet when that happens.  The best part?  No one was reading it.  There was one person (who moved before I got a picture)  sitting against the wall, on the red carpet, directly under the sign.  No joke.
7)  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.  Burbank has a hall of art with Amelia Earhart!  So cool!  And Phoenix has an entire exhibit of crazy art there.  Do all airports have art?  I think so…the ones in the Dallas airport…all of the sculptures are pretty incredible.
8) Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.  You should get extra points for the security guard…they are super paranoid!
9)  This is a freebie.  I just wanted to be on the look-out for something strange or weird that wasn’t already on my list.  I found it!  Flying Cats!  I sat down and talked to this poor lady who had both of her cats in small carriers and the cats were meowing like mad.  She told me she had already given them Xanax and it was having zero effect.  I took a video, laughed a bit, felt sorry for those poor cats (and their human mama) and chalked this one up as done!
10)  Two plane photos.  You saw my first one at the top looking over Burbank as I took off.  The other one was the best I could do from within the airport, but it totally counted!
Moral of the story…if you have an airport date…here’s the short list to cut and paste and print out.  It really was a lot of fun and required me to use my social skills and to be brave in talking with complete strangers, videoing flying cats, taking pictures of myself in crazy hats and taking a picture of the beer stein Pasadena salt and pepper shakers without the employee looking at me like I might shoplift at any moment.  Be adventurous!  Tell me about your latest #playdate below.  
1.  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie
2.  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.
3.  Take a picture of the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  Or buy it and give it to someone as your next white elephant gift at Christmas this year.
4.  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.
5.  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  (Let me know which airline you get this from because American Airlines isn’t doing it anymore…so sad!)
6.  Take a picture of an airport sign that is laughable.
7.  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.
8.  Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.
9.  Freebie!  Find something weird/strange/out of the ordinary that isn’t on your list.
10.  2 Plane Photos – One from inside the plane/One from the outside.

Goal Posts 3 of 4 for 2017

  • Bite Size Chunks
    • Now that you’ve Dreamed Big and had some time to Reflect, it’s time to set your actual goals for 2017.  This year I decided I wanted to make my goals more fun instead of stodgy.  I changed my goal title from Lauri’s Goals 2017 to Lauri’s Promises 2017.  I changed the Relationships category to Family Focus, Physical to Physical Well-being and Playtime, Financial to Abundant Wealth Prowess, Education to Cultivating Enlightenment, Spiritual to Soul Solutions.  I even added two new categories this year:  Creativity and my favorite?  Recess!
    • Not only am a adding in more fun this year, but I have two pages of promises and this might help you, too.  One set is a Promises Summary where it states my goals.  The second set (and this is where the bite-size chunks come in) breaks down those promises into actual action steps.  How will I accomplish my goals?  Let me share one with you so you get the idea.
    • Under my Recess Category I have a goal for a Weekly Date with guess who?  Me!  One my first set of Promises where it is a summary, it simply says, Weekly Dates with Myself.  On the second set I have it broken out to say that not only will I have a weekly date with myself, but I will alternate each week from an evening to a daytime date.  I have ideas written of a few dates I’ve done in the past and enjoyed and some I think might be fun.  Not all of my dates have been a hit, by the way.  Some felt as a downright waste of my time by the end, but consistency keeps me moving forward in the right direction so that I keep taking time for myself.  Last week I simply set a date to pull out all of my stamp collection, see how much they were worth right now and make a list of a couple of collections I’d like to complete and added it to my wishlist for friends and family for my birthday and Christmas (yes, I’m the OCD one when it comes to list and preparation…I always have a wishlist going! You should to!)
    • That means that now is time for the action step for you.  You’ve Dreamt Big, you’ve Reflected on past years goals that have and haven’t worked for you and where you are now.  You are ready to make your Promises, but more importantly, ready to break them down into “Bite-Size Chunks” so that you can actually see yourself accomplishing your goals.
    • Next week?  The last piece of the puzzle to help you accomplish your goals or promises in 2017 – Accountability.  I’ll tell you that I’ve never taken this step before until this year and what I’ve done to make it happen for me.
    • Please leave a comment below and share one of your promises for 2017.  I love hearing from you!

Goal Posts 2 of 4 for 2017

  • Reflections
    • One of the funnest things I did before actually writing my goals down for 2017 was reflect on my past years of goal-setting.  I have been printing out and posting on my bulletin board my yearly goals since 2010.  I kept them in a tidy little file folder tucked away in one of my office drawers and hadn’t thought much about them other than to put the old ones in at the end of each year.  Not this time.
    • It was so great to reflect on some of my goals and what I was into at that particular time.  How my physical goals have changed from running a half marathon and now I’m racing mountain bikes.  Saving for Boobs had been on my list, but 2 years later decided they would be a “BIG” pain and get in the way of my physical fitness goals.  How many classes I wanted to finish to gain my high school diploma and how that goal came true in it’s entirety in 2012 when I graduated!
    • From knitting a blanket (yes, it’s still on there after three years) to completing a Shutterfly book.  From spiritual goals that were met to eating right.  It has been wonderful to reflect and introspect and ruminate over goals accomplished, goals that turned out not as important as I had thought in the moment and just how I’ve grown over the last 6 years navigating my 40’s.  A crazy, mixed-up, wonderful, growth of a ride for sure.
    • What are some goals that were important to you at the time, but turned out less important as years passed?
    • What did you spend time on and wished you hadn’t?  Now vice versa…wish you had spent more time on, but didn’t?
    • Accomplished any bucket list items lately?  Can you add one this year?
    • Are your goals attainable in this year?
    • Now that you’ve Dreamed Big, and done a little Reflection, tune in next week to figure out how you can attain those goals by putting them into Bite-Size Chunks.
    • Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know all about your goals and how your reflection of past goals have been for you.  Love hearing from you!

Goal Posts 1 of 4 for 2017

  • Dream Big
    • This month’s Wednesday Blogs will be focused on setting goals or what I have termed “Promises”.  This year I decided to shake things up a bit and use different description words and generally make my goals a lot more FUN!  I wanted to use my creativity and playfulness – we can sometimes be so stodgy, strict, and stick-in-the-muddy when it comes to making our serious goals.  Why?
    • I decided that while I am serious about reaching my goals there wasn’t a reason on earth not to make them fun, playful, creative and attractive.  The Four Blogs will be entitled Dream Big, Reflections, Bite Size Chunks, and Accountability.
    • For today, let’s focus on DREAMING BIG.  How would you complete the following sentences?
    • If money were not an option, I would___________________________________.
    • If I could set my fear aside, I would____________________________________.
    • My dream job would be_____________________________________________.
    • If I had extra money to donate to any philanthropic organization I would pick____________________________________________________________.
    • 3 Things I would add to my bucket list__________________________________.
    • 3 Movies I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t taken the time are____________.
    • If I had an entire day to myself I would spend it doing______________________.
    • If I had more time to workout I would do________________________________.
    • My Secret Destination Dream vacation would be__________________________.
    • Something purely fun I want to learn___________________________________.
    • I want to retire at age_______________________________________________.
    • If I wrote a book it would be titled______________________________________.
    • 2 Projects I’ve put off for entirely too long_______________________________.
    • 1 House Project that I would love to finish this year_________________________.
    • You get the idea here, right?  Allow yourself to dream big.  The goal of this exercise isn’t to necessarily see them ALL happen in 2017, but to realize or work on them this year.  Is Paris your dream vacation?  Start a savings account specifically for that purpose, play a French film with subtitles while eating a crescent to keep your dream alive.  Have a nagging house project?  Write down what it would take to accomplish that goal.  For example, last year I wanted to get new carpet upstairs so long before that became a reality I started saving for the carpet, picked out the carpet and pad as well as got quotes for installation.  Want to donate to a philanthropic organization but don’t have the money you would really like to donate?  So what!  They appreciate all donations.  I donate $10/month to PCRM and this year my husband picked 4 different charities he wanted to support at $5/month each.  Do something…not nothing.
    • And just as a side note…I do have on my promises list for something purely fun.  My hubby and I are going to learn to pop wheelies on our mountain bikes!  Yes!
    • After filling out your DREAMING BIG categories, it’s time to make them fun.  Please tune in next Wednesday for the Reflections topic where I look at my goals that I started printing out in 2010 and how this year I changed them from stodgy to playful.
    • If this was helpful, please leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
In a recent podcast interview with Laurie Blackwell (Episode 27), we talked the inside out and sideways of journal writing.  Upon finding out our mutual passion of the subject, Laurie created this amazing list that includes 25 different kinds of journals you could create. 
Laurie also teaches online journaling classes at www.laurieblackwell.com.  
Check out the podcast interview here.  Enjoy and get journaling!
25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
  1.   A Diary :: a fictional pen-pal to write to about all of your happenings and feelings
  2. A Historical Record of Days :: think Lewis and Clark, complete with weather reports and sketches of objects encountered
  3. An Art Journal :: filled with pages of color, collage, drawings
  4. A Travel Journal :: a reflection on and memories concerning a trip away from home
  5. A Pen-Pal Journal :: You complete a page, send it to a friend who makes a page and sends it back to you
  6. A Grief Journal :: a way to remember and honor someone you loved and now miss
  7. A Positivity Journal :: a book to keep all happy thoughts and good happenings in so you can remember how wonderful life really is
  8. A Wish Journal :: a place to keep all those things (thoughts, clippings, pictures) of the things your heart desires
  9. A Dream Journal :: record the subconscious happenings in your mind while you sleep (upon waking up, of course)
  10. A Family Journal :: a place where everyone in the household can express themselves whenever they like (such a keepsake!)
  11. A Letters Journal :: where you write all the letters you will never send but have to put out there
  12. A Book Journal :: a record of all the books you read – when, what, and your own personal review
  13. A Bullet Journal :: the ultimate “get it done” way to organize
  14. A Relationship Journal :: a place to store mementos, dates, and details about your life together
  15. Wonderful Words Journal  ::  put all the words that sound beautiful or mean something special to you in this book, including their definitions
  16. A Poetry Journal ::  write down all your favorite poems, the ones that really move you, all in one journal
  17. A Place to Vent Journal ::  All the stuff you’d like to get off your chest;  write it down here and when the journal is full, throw it away!  
  18. The Things I Never Want to Forget Journal  ::  memories throughout your life that you want to treasure forever
  19. A Journal of My Favorites  ::  a place to record all those things you love the most, like your favorite restaurant, movie, song, scent, season…
  20. A Journal of Recipes :: all the tried and true yummy food and the ones you’d like to make 
  21. A Patterns Journal  :: patterns you love – pieces cut from cloth, magazines, catalogs, and drawings of patterns that you’ve seen or from your imagination
  22. A Healthy Me Journal ::  what you eat each day, goals for being healthier, an exercise log, etc.
  23. A Journal for Doodles  ::  a place to draw to your heart’s content
  24. A Money Journal  ::  where you record all the money that comes into your life and how you spend it;  a pretty and concise way to watch your pennies
  25. A Reflections Journal  ::  an account of things you do and how they could be improved in the future;   this is a game-changer

Election Day 2016

Donald Trump is Our President

Let me start by saying that I did not vote for Trump or for Clinton.  That may cause some controversy, but just being honest.

Another confession is that I was really truly surprised that Trump won!  I had no idea that would happen and thought that Hilary had it in the bag even though I did not feel that in good conscience I could vote for her or Trump.

But now we’ve turned the corner.  The decision has been made.  I do not know what will happen in the next four years and honestly am afraid for our country and am hoping that I will be pleasantly surprised by Donald Trump and that he makes great strides and finds excellent results in his promises to this nation.

Having said that, I would like to speak to the fact that family members and friends have been pitted against each other before, during, and after the election.  The day before the election I read this passage by Howard W. Hunter and I share it with you so that it may touch your heart, but more importantly that we will start healing the wounds we may have created over this crazy roller-coaster of a ride election:

“The world in which we live would benefit greatly if men and women everywhere would exercise the pure love of Christ, which is kind, meek, and lowly.  It is without envy or pride.  It is selfless because it seeks nothing in return.  It does not countenance evil or ill will, nor rejoice in iniquity;  it has no place for bigotry, hatred, or violence.  It refuses to condone ridicule, vulgarity, abuse, or ostracism.  It encourages diverse people to live together in Christian love regardless of religious belief, race, nationality, financial standing, education, or culture.”

I cannot predict the future and I could not have predicted the outcome of this major election, but I have the 100% say-so in how I treat my family, my friends, my neighbors.  I have 100% control over how I decide to show up in this community that I call home and to the world.  And so do you.  Choose wisely…
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